Important New Translation by PAMLA Members Nathalie Kasselis-Smith and Stella Moreno Monroy

In 2006, the University of Arizona Press published Because I Don’t Have Wings: Stories of Mexican Immigrant Life, a collection of essays in which Philip Garrison discusses the problematic issue of the Mexican immigrant life in the United States, and more particularly in the Pacific Northwest.  His familiarity with the roots – both historical and socio-political - of this issue animate the text. This book, his fourth, received excellent reviews.  Rubén Martínez, author of Crossing Over, wrote:
 
            In these exquisite essays, somewhere between lyrics and odes--Philip Garrison maps out the new borderlands. . .Weaving together both
            testimonio and text, history and his own experience, Because I Don’t Have Wings leads both Mexicano and Americano towards an
            encounter neither counted upon. . . Garrison is a mestizo’s mestizo, a literary coyote who smuggles us across not just one but many lines.
 
In 2007, Nathalie Kasselis-Smith and Stella Moreno Monroy, both professors of Spanish language and literature at Central Washington University, undertook the translation of the book into Spanish, as they believed it deserved a larger audience, among both United States Latinos now in the process of exploring their identity and readers across the diverse Hispanic/Latino world.  They also believed in the book’s value as a text for courses in Latino literature, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology and Latino history, in high school and in Higher Education Institutions, in the United States as well as in the Hispanic/Latino World.  
 
Professors Kasselis-Smith and Moreno liked the timely themes of the essays as much as the entrañables personajes who travel in his writing. What caught their attention was the pride and the pathos of the characters, people who humbly, and eloquently, depict the fiesta y tragedia of immigrant life in the United States as well as, in some cases, of their return to their homeland. It was not easy to capture the irony of the English text, the nuances - both linguistically and stylistically – of the narrator and the characters. Through their mannerisms and colloquialisms, one can hear Mexican immigrants express both their hopes and their fatalism.  The author Philip Garrison, at all times accessible, helped the translators to best isolate the book’s central image: that of the astute coyote.
 
Excerpts of the translation appeared in literary journals such as Ventana Abierta: Revista Latina de Literatura, Arte y Cultura, publication of the University of California, Santa Barbara (2007, 2008, 2009), Shadows and Echoes, a literary journal of the Pacific Lutheran University (2007) and Aurora Boreal, a Danish publication on Hispanic Literature, Art and Culture (2008).  
        
In 2008, the Secretariat of Culture of Michoacán, México -- through its Department of Documentation for the Arts and Research -- offered to publish the manuscript as part of the “Serie Migrantes”.  Its distribution to several thousand michoacanos marks an important cultural event, a landmark in the relationship developing between Central Washington University and that state.  In February 2010, Porque me faltan alas: Historias de la vida del inmigrante mexicano was officially presented at the International Book Fair, at El Palacio de Minería in México City.
 
On the publication of his book in Spanish, Garrison said: “As a writer, I am delighted - as well as fortunate! - to be the beneficiary of this collaboration between Professors Moreno and Kasselis-Smith.  All their perseverance made for a dazzling translation, a document I am truly proud to be associated with. 
 
If you are interested in the book, please contact professors Kasselis- Smith and Moreno in the United States or Lic. Ivonne Solano-Chavez in México.
 
Nathalie Kasselis-Smith, Ph.D.                       Stella Moreno Monroy, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Spanish                       Professor of Spanish
Department of Foreign Languages                             Department of Foreign Languages
Central Washington University                      Central Washington University
400 E. University Way,                                  400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA. 98926                                  Ellensburg,WA. 98926
E-mail address: kasselin@cwu.edu                E-mail address: morenos@cwu.edu
Phone No: (509) 963-1218                             Phone No: (509) 963-3347
 
Lic. Ivonne Solano- Chávez
Coordinadora del centro de documentación e investigación de las artes
Secretaría de Cultura
Gobierno del estado de Michoacán
Phone numbers: 52/443-3228900 Ext. 141/ 142
isolano@michoacan.gob.mx
www.cultura.michoacan.gob.mex

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